WTO rules against Section 232 tariffs on steel, aluminum; US will not remove tariffs
|In developments with wide-ranging implications for the world trade system, the World Trade Organization ruled today that the United States that the Section 232 tariffs on imported steel and aluminum imposed by President Trump violated U.S. free trade obligations, but the Biden administration said it will not remove the tariffs.|
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Adam Hodge said in a news release, “The United States strongly rejects the flawed interpretation and conclusions in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel reports released today regarding challenges to the United States’ Section 232 measures on steel and aluminum brought by China and others.”
“The United States has held the clear and unequivocal position, for over 70 years, that issues of national security cannot be reviewed in WTO dispute settlement and the WTO has no authority to second-guess the ability of a WTO member to respond to a wide-range of threats to its security,” Hodge said.
“These WTO panel reports only reinforce the need to fundamentally reform the WTO dispute settlement system. The WTO has proven ineffective at stopping severe and persistent non-market excess capacity from the PRC and others that is an existential threat to market-oriented steel and aluminum sectors and a threat to U.S. national security. The WTO now suggests that the United States too must stand idly by. The United States will not cede decision-making over its essential security to WTO panels.
“The Biden administration is committed to preserving U.S. national security by ensuring the long-term viability of our steel and aluminum industries, and we do not intend to remove the Section 232 duties as a result of these disputes.”
–The Hagstrom Report